We moved in April 2004. We settled in to our new home, unpacked and began meeting our neighbors. I was amazed at how easy it was to meet people! All you have to do is sit on your front porch! People walk by all day and talk to you! I was quickly invited to a women’s party on our street, as well as became the street “mom” to all the children (I loved sitting outside and giving them unlimited attention and an occasional popsicle. Some of them seemed starving for attention!).
My expectations were squashed! I felt sure that we wouldn’t be welcomed, but found the exact opposite! I had never felt more welcomed so quickly in a neighborhood before! I was ashamed. The things that I thought about these people were so wrong! I thought they were needy people. But, they aren’t any different than any one else! They have been treated as if they are, and at times get offended by that. Funny, but I’ve felt offended at times too (like when a ministry from out of state delivered boxes of food door to door and I tried to refuse one, and they wouldn’t let me – treating me as if it was just my pride, instead of my real reason of wanting it to go to someone more in need. The thing is, I don’t think that any of my neighbors were in “need” of this food. It was just assumed they were!).
And so, we went about building relationships and praying for our neighbors, excited about our new church that was to open in little more than a year now. I prayed daily for God to give me an opportunity to share His Son with someone in my neighborhood. He answered me with the children. There were so many of them. Four siblings from one home were especially dear to me. My Game Master started school that fall and I helped one day each week. I loved being near to him (we’d homeschooled for the two years prior), and I loved being there for all the children. I was involved as much as I could be.
Towards the end of that year, we had a meeting with our pastor and our future pastor (the one who was preparing to start the new church) and were told that they had a change of direction and would not be planting a church in that area after all. We were disappointed, but knew that God wanted us there and that He wanted us to leave that church to be with one that would support our ministry there.
Sorry! I'll return to the story on Monday! I'm going to do the Saturday Photo Hunt tomorrow! Have a good weekend!